Belmont to get green this spring – Gaston towns tired of being brown
Bowing to the pressure of local small businesses dependent on public water for their livelihoods, the Belmont City Council water committee has put forth a motion to ease water restrictions in the area.
Residents would be able to hand water, drip irrigate trees, shrubs, and personal gardens. If approved, the watering could be done during the entire day on those three days. “I don’t mind the hand held watering,” said Councilman Charlie Flowers”.
This action is occurring while other Gaston county towns are also loosening restrictions.
It seems that the “squeaky” (re: “leaky”) wheel gets the grease. If City Council passes the recommendation, residents still will not be able to water their lawns.
Other communities throughout the state are still working on further restrictions and closely tracking water use, Belmont gets a bit a rain and Poof! – no more drought — in some eyes.
We admit there has been some improvement in the drought, but the area is still in what is considered exceptional drought conditions. Typically late February and the month of March are “catch up” months in regards to rain. Not this spring – so far.
A special meeting next Monday evening (6:30 PM) will have this discussion and vote. Interested people should attend this meeting and see how council members who have landscapers maintain their personal yards vote on this issue.
More information links: System Status for Belmont
Older table dates
Sure doesn’t look like water restrictions have affected Belmont’s use of water. Going back to an earlier article where the Belmont Front Porch reported on the growing practice of new wells being dug throughout the county, the County Health Department repudiated the charge that new wells were an issue with groundwater.
With this information, it seems that local “businesses” would not be affected — according to the County health department — just dig a well.
Good for business, keeps the businesses off the backs of elected “leaders”, and keeps the progeny of local councilmembers with their jobs.
It’s all good.
SBA Loans to businesses affected by drought
At the last city council meeting, two local business owners pleaded with the council members for relief from water use restrictions.
Hoagland Landscaping and Southern Roots (the former Low Meadows) expressed concern that the cities and towns of the region had a mish-mash of rules governing what could and could not be done during each particular Water Restriction level.
They reported that trade organizations were working with area governments to consider standardizing the rules across community lines.
We agree with the suggestion and work to bring communities together for comprehensive guidelines regarding water use. The restrictions have created particular economic hardships to the hundreds of landscaping “companies” and nurseries that supply the community. In this instance, the drought is causing a shakeout of the landscapers in particular. The US Small Business Administration (SBA) began offering low-interest loans to businesses affected by the drought sometime last year. The shakeout of businesses that is occuring is a natural process of the market place in two levels. The first level are those businesses started as “sidelines” or supplemental jobs by folks such as firefighters, school teachers, and job-in-betweeners. Mainly folks who cut lawns and provide basic landscaping services. The second level are the true professionals who have made careers out of learning the trade and became proficient to have sustained the ups and downs of the industry.
We feel for both levels of providers. But again, there is temporary relief to help the rough spots. This document/flyer by the SBA could help those professionals over this weather-related hump.
As the rain last night and today remind us, God will provide. His timeframe and ours are not always the same. Balancing a precious resource such as freshwater with community sustainability versus a profit-making venture requires much discussion, debate, and cooperation.
Not much, but it was enough to cancel school for the day.
Anybody have kids home, besides us? Gonna drive us crazy for one day. Then three days next week for the Martin Luther King holiday. Several folks are planning ski trips up to the mountains. Click here for mountain view webcams.
In a related note – the South Point HS phone tree is pleading for test proctors on Friday. If you can help, call 704-825-3351. It is a teacher’s workday today and the office staff are present.
(Gazette Photo – Mike Hendsill)
Everyone gets excited when we get a snow pattern in the weather. Please drive safely when the roads are wet and possibly slick.